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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  September 3, 2014 3:55pm-4:01pm EDT

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distinct. however, it does remapin a problem with the war of 1812. americans are embarrassed about this war. they are confused about what occurred and they are uncertain whether it should be celebrated or remembered in any way. i went to the british embassy two sundays ago with spark lers on in the british embassy. the campaigns of this war were by and large a fiasco and is by no means clear that the united states was the victim. the best of historians say the nation managed a withdrawal. so i think we're somewhat in a paradox. even the american appreciation and understanding of this presidency, which is the war of 1812, has not. that says more about that
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paradox than the next few moments. if you take any book on the war of 1812, and there are a great many books on the war of 1812, abo after two centuries of the event, it's easy to pull out half a dozen pieces about it. some of these historians have linked this directly to madison. it's a result of poor decisions. they can be described as problems that he needed to contend with but he didn't do a great job. what can we say about madison himself? the serious charge against madison is that he did not want this war and that he was pushed into it by a noisy faction of congressional warhawks who
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wrested control away from the french. having lost that control of the national policy, madison then compounded his difficulties by not providing sufficient direction and energy as commander in chief. that problem is fundamental to any understanding of the war of 1812 and how we deal with it, i think, impacts how we assist any of the other factors governed of the war. so the question, whose war was it? it wasn't madison's, nor was it the warhawks. mr. madison still favors the warhawks, but i think this is a misplaced emphasis. the critical development that placed the american public occurred between march and july of 1811. in march of 1811, as alluded to
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by the speaker, madison learned that george had lashed into what was going to be his final belt of certainty and they would have to take the duties of monarchy. since he despised his father and his father's ministry, it was presumed that he would replace his father's ministers with new ministers that might highly characterize british policy towards the united states up to that point. to take advantage, he bought into james monroe, secretary of state. there are a number of reasons
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why he did this, but one of the reasons why he did it was that he had formed personal relationships with some of the british politicians who were expected to become ministers in the reconstruction of the british ministry. this was a window of opportunity that very soon closed. he never changed his father's ministers, despite what he felt about the man. for that reason, british policy toward the united states remained unchanged. now, he did make a sort of conciliatory gesture to the united states by sending madison to washington. madison knew that george iii's m ministers were not likely to ease up. as this prediction had come to pass, madison concluded he
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needed to have a much stronger resistance than he had in the past. how do we know this? we know this because an editorial in the administration newspaper -- oh, sorry. sorry about that. i wasn't looking behind me. there was an editorial in the administration newspaper, the newspaper that could have been trashed when he was in washington in 1814, and we know from the diary of the paper, that madison dictated the contents of that

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